Heritage rail line celebrates opening of Duffield booking hall

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The new booking hall has been officially opened at Duffield railway station, in the latest success for volunteers working to restore the heritage line.

A train pulled in from Wirksworth and crowds of volunteers, civic dignitaries and invited guests lined the platform to see Norman Boulton open the latest development on the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway last month.

WyvernRail director Eric Boultbee (right) presents Norman Boulton with the first ticket to be issued from the new booking hall

WyvernRail director Eric Boultbee (right) presents Norman Boulton with the first ticket to be issued from the new booking hall

Neil Ferguson-Lee, of line operator WyvernRail plc, said: “Norman was the leading contributor to the fund to build the station building at Duffield. A local lad who now lives in Berkshire, he met his late wife in Hazelwood and has fond memories of the line.

“We were delighted to reward his generosity by having him open the building he did so much to support.”

WyvernRail director Eric Boultbee presented Norman with the first ticket to be issued from the new booking hall, which was built by a dedicated team of volunteers.

It marked the final step to replace the small tin hut which had been in place since the line was reopened in 2011.

The project began in 2015, led by the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway Association, the charitable arm of the railway.

The new, purpose-built facility provides a shop, shelter and potential for catering facilities in the future.

The organisations have ambitious plans to match the booking hall with a new station at Wirksworth.